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Frosted vs Clear Glass Window in the Bathroom

Glass is a common material found in almost all types of bathroom windows. This may sound odd or surprising since glass doesn’t offer much privacy, which is essential for all bathroom windows.

But not all types of glass are clear or transparent. A frosted glass window for the bathroom provides the same benefits you can get from a typical clear glass window and more.

So, does it make sense to switch from clear to frosted glass windows?

Let’s find out. 

frosted glass bathroom window

Overview of Frosted and Clear Glass Bathroom Windows

Clear or transparent glass windows are pretty common in bathrooms. Chances are, you have one in your home.

Clear glass windows have their upsides, primarily excellent natural lighting. Because it is transparent, sunlight passes through these windows with ease, which can brighten up even the gloomiest part of your bathroom. It’s a perfect choice for a smaller-sized bathroom that needs maximum illumination.

But the downside? Clear glass bathroom windows don’t offer much in terms of privacy. Unless you position the window higher up, anyone from the outside can see in. You’ll end up having to use curtains to obscure the view.

With frosted glass windows, you get both natural light and privacy. They look slightly different from standard clear glass windows, and so they are applied in different places including your bathroom!

Frosted glass is common for shower doors, but it’s also excellent for bathroom windows. Since no one from the outside can see in, you have more leeway in how you design your bathroom windows using frosted glass. You can make them as large as you want, or you can even choose a floor to ceiling bathroom window without having to worry about your privacy.

What Is Frosted Glass?

If it isn’t obvious from its name, frosted glass has a frosty or translucent appearance instead of the typical clear glass.

Technically, frosted glass was once a clear sheet of glass that turned opaque after its surface underwent the “frosting” process, which can either be acid etching or sandblasting. The new surface forces the light to scatter as it hits. The “frosted” effect gives the glass a translucent appearance, obscuring the view from the outside without blocking the light.

Are Frosted Glass Windows Worth It?

It goes without saying that frosted glass windows will cost more than the typical clear glass bathroom window. But if you can spare the expense, switching to frosted glass has a number of benefits for you and your bathroom.

  • The frosted surface provides you with an excellent degree of privacy while still allowing maximum light transmission. If you have a large enough frosted glass bathroom window, you won’t need artificial light during the daytime.

  • It’s an excellent alternative if you don’t want the hassle that comes with using curtains or blinds on your bathroom window. Curtains are difficult to clean. But with frosted glass windows, there are no curtains or blinds for you to wash.

  • Frosted glass bathroom windows are low maintenance. They are easy to clean and incredibly scratch resistant, unlike clear glass windows that can easily appear dirty once scratched.

  • Although it doesn’t obscure the light, frosted glass diffuses the sunlight’s glare. It leaves you with a more comforting and pleasant natural light.

  • Frosted glass windows are available in a plethora of designs and colors. They have both the functionality and aesthetic appeal to suit every bathroom style. Think of them as a functional window but also a decorative design for your bathroom.

  • Frosted glass is non-corrosive in nature, making it mold-free and suitable for the damp environment of the bathroom.

What Can You Do With Clear Glass Windows in the Bathroom?

So, what if you already have clear glass bathroom windows? You don’t need to spend a lot of money for a bathroom window update just yet. There are other ways to go about adding some privacy to your clear glass windows and get that frosted glass effect.

Believe it or not, these alternatives are easy do-it-yourself projects that can turn your otherwise transparent bathroom window into a decorative, frosted glass window.

Use Frosted Glass Window Film

The easiest way to get that frosted effect on your clear glass bathroom windows is by using window film. It’s non-adhesive but will stick to the glass surface through static cling. Putting the frosted film on your windows is easy. If you don’t get the placement right the first time, you can pull the film off the glass and start over.

Here’s how to apply frosted glass window film:

  1. Thoroughly clean the glass surface before application and let it dry. When wiping the glass dry, make sure to use a lint-free cloth, or the film won’t adhere to the glass very well.

  1. Mix a small amount of dish detergent and distilled water in a spray bottle, then lightly spritz the glass before applying the frosted window film.

  1. Get a squeegee to help remove air bubbles as you apply the film.

Spray Paint the Glass

Frosting your clear glass windows can be as easy as spray painting them, using a special type of paint. The paint adds a semi-transparent surface or coating on the glass, giving an etched or frosted appearance. You can get these special frosted glass spray paint online or in most home improvement retail centers.

Apply frosted coating to your bathroom windows quick and easy:

  1. Clean the glass surface and let it dry. Make sure to tape off the sides and frame that you don’t want to paint.

  1. Apply a thin layer of the paint and let it dry.

  1. Reapply paint as necessary or if you want greater opacity and privacy on your bathroom windows.

The finish adds privacy and looks great on any bathroom windows, but in case you get tired of the look, it’s easy to take off. You can remove the “frost” using a glass scraper without damaging the surface. Not to mention, the spray paint is very affordable compared to buying a new frosted glass window for your bathroom.

Apply Glass Etching Cream

The first two methods give you a temporary “frosted” effect on your glass windows. But if you need or desire something permanent, you can achieve that for your bathroom windows by using a glass-etching cream.

This is not a common product, and you probably haven’t heard of it unless you’re an avid crafter.

Etching cream is easy to apply by following the instructions you can find in the packaging:

  1. Tape off the sensitive areas of your glass windows, including the corners or frames.

  1. Scrub the etching cream onto the glass surface using a bristle brush and let it sit for the time recommended by the manufacturer.

  1.  Use warm water to rinse off the cream and wipe your new frosted glass window dry.

Picking Frosted or Clear Glass Windows For Your Bathroom 

Clear glass bathroom windows are pretty common, but frosted glass windows could be ideal for your bathroom. They are not only decorative but also functional. Frosted glass allows ample natural light to fill your bathroom while maintaining privacy.

But if you already have clear glass windows in your bathroom and don’t have the budget for an upgrade, it’s not a problem. You can turn your clear glass windows to frosted glass in three different ways: frosted glass window film, spray paint, or etching cream!

Now, you can make your bathroom private, bright, modern, and ultra-stylish with your new frosted glass bathroom windows.

Mandy Phillips

As a frequent contributor to top US magazines and publications in the home improvement niche, Mandy has been known for sharing her expertise on how to clean, organize, and decorate bathrooms.

Additionally, Mandy has immense experience offering lifestyle tips and tricks to her readers.

About Loo Academy

At Loo Academy, our mission is to offer trusted advice for everything related to bathrooms (design ideas, plumbing advice, showering & bathing tips, remodeling guides, and more) — a place where we all spend a great deal of time.

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Published content is regularly fact-checked and revised so that the information we provide is accurate and up-to-date.

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